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Chemistry 1A - Research Guide: Evaluating

Articles found in the library databases have already been evaluated for accuracy and credibility by discipline-specific experts and publishers. Most information retrieved from Google hasn't been evaluated. It could be inaccurate, biased, or it might not be current. You will need to carefully evaluate information. Below are some criteria you can use to help you evaluate information found on the free web.

Evaluating web resources - AAOCC

Find an interesting website using Google or another browser? Not sure if you can use it for academic research? It is not always easy to determine if information on the World Wide Web is credible. However, the guidelines below will help you understand clues about the reliability of web resources.


  • Who are the authors? Are they qualified? Are they credible?
  • With whom are they affiliated? Does their affiliation affect their credibility?
  • Who is the publisher? What is their reputation?


  • Is the information accurate? Is it reliable and error-free?
  • Are the interpretations and implications reasonable?
  • Is there evidence to support conclusions? Is it verifiable?
  • Do the authors list their sources, references, or citations?


  • What is the purpose? What do the authors want to accomplish?
  • Does this purpose affect the presentation?
  • Is there an implicit or explicit bias?
  • Is the information fact or opinion?


  • Is the information current? Is it still valid?
  • Has it been superseded by subsequent research?


  • Is the information relevant to your topic and assignment?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the material presented at an appropriate level?
  • Is the information complete? Is it unique?



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